MANILA, August 16, 2005
(STAR) By Aurea Calica - President Arroyo has ordered a reorganization of the intelligence community amid threats to the government and a resurgence of terrorism.

Through Executive Order No. 124, the President directed National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales to "reorganize and revitalize the intelligence community through streamlining or expansion of concerned intelligence services and undertaking other tasks to ensure that their activities are responsive to the needs and requirements of the national leadership."

"Our country’s national development continues to be confronted with various challenges that pose serious implications for national political stability and security," the EO read.

Mrs. Arroyo said these challenges would require greater resources and a comprehensive effort of the entire government machinery, particularly the intelligence community.

She cited that many intelligence communities worldwide have implemented various techno-structural reforms, including the creation of counter-terrorism units, intelligence fusion centers and information technology hubs to make them more responsive to emerging national security threats.

"It is in the national interest to re-engineer and reinforce the national intelligence community to render it more responsive to the ever increasing requirements of the national leadership and promote intelligence fusion at all levels," she said.

Under Administrative Order No. 149, the National Security Council is tasked to provide regular guidance and direction to the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and members of the intelligence community.

Administrative Order No. 2 authorizes the NSC to revitalize the intelligence community and reorient its activities towards attaining efficiency in the organization.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita admitted that there was a breach of security when the President’s alleged cellular phone conversation with an election official was wiretapped. The recordings were later released to the public in an apparent effort to destabilize her administration.

The wiretapped conversations, which became known as the "Hello Garci" tapes, are now being used by the opposition as the main basis for calling for her impeachment over alleged cheating in the last election.

The President, while never admitting that she was the one heard on the recordings, bewailed the threat to security if a sitting president could be wiretapped.

She maintains that she did not cheat in the election and merely called an election official to "protect her votes."

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved